I am not a big birthday celebration kinda girl. My birthday has never really been the same since I lost my mom on my 20th birthday.
My family is so wonderful they really make my birthdays so much fun.
The other reason I am not so keen on my birthday is that it means another year older….sigh.
BUT…with age comes wisdom!
Im my 40+ cough something years on this planet I have learned a thing or two.
Here is my list of life lessons/things I’ve learned.
-This first one is no surprise to those that know me. Somedays there is not enough Purell to calm my nerves. There are far too many icky things out there. The older I get, the more sanitizer I need.
-It’s better to look back on your life and celebrate the things you did instead of looking back wishing you would’ve tried those things. Life is about the moments, memories and shenanigans!
-I still have not learned to be patient. You would think after 3 kids that I would have a smidge of patience….nope, nada, zilch. I’m workin’ on it…be patient with me—bwahahahahhaa (ok that was super funny!)
-I’ve learned that I cannot make you want to be fit and healthy. Do I want to change the world…heck yeah!! I am doing my part, person by person. No matter how much I want it for you….you have to want it for yourself. I can brainwash my children, but the rest of you guys need to want to make the change. I’m here when you’re ready!
-With age comes wisdom …and wrinkles….grrrrrrr-stupid wrinkles.
Too soon we get old and too late we get smart.
-I have finally crossed that point that the opinions of others don’t bother me.
-Life is short friends. We have all lost someone near & dear to us. Live life. Be healthy. Be energetic. Be thankful. If you’re not then change it!
-I always have and always will iron everything…that’s not changing anytime soon people–just thought I would throw that in there. Creases and perfectly pressed clothes are cool…believe that! #weirdo
-Tell people they are important, special, loved. We all need to hear it. Go on…share some love.
-I’ve learned being happy is easy. Think about what you have-who you have in your life-where you are…it’s all good! #bethankful
-Learn the rules of life and play better!
While zero-calorie doughnuts have yet to be invented, that doesn’t mean your search for foods that fit nicely into your low-calorie diet, or easily fill out the last remaining macros of your day, is at an end. After all, think of all that extra exercise you have to do to burn off a whole pizza or towering hot fudge sundae.
Choosing the right low-calorie foods can tip the scales in your favor toward fat burning rather than fat accumulation. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of the 40 best foods from different aisles in your grocery store. There’s even a handy list for you to print out!
While it’s really a myth that certain foods have a strong “negative” caloric effect, meaning they burn more calories to digest than they contain, that doesn’t mean the grocery store and farmers’ market aren’t stocked with plenty of nutritious foods that are very low in energy and cost you almost nothing calorie-wise. In fact, of the 40 foods profiled here, 35 contain 100 or fewer calories per serving!
When you’re mindfully watching your calorie intake to trim down your waistline, it’s vital that you saturate your diet with plenty of edibles that don’t leave you feeling hungry. After all, you don’t want to be starving all day long.
The good news for your palate and muscles is that not all low-calorie grub is rabbit food. In fact, meat, dairy, and other aisles in the supermarket are home to a number of items that, despite being light in calories, are heavy in important stuff like protein and good flavor.
If you’re looking for foods to munch on but can’t spare too many calories, these edibles can help you get something for nearly nothing.
WATERCRESS 4 CALORIES PER 1 CUP
You need this low-calorie veggie in your diet: A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that, among items in the produce aisle, watercress is one of the most nutrient-dense, meaning that those diminutive green leaves provide lofty amounts of nutrients.1 Like other cruciferous vegetables, watercress also packs plenty of antioxidant power.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 3 diced pears, 1 diced white potato, and 1 tablespoon chopped ginger to pan; heat 2 minutes. Pour in 4 cups vegetable broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes.
Add 2 bunches watercress, 2 tablespoon red vinegar, and 2 tablespoon fresh tarragon to pan. Heat 5 minutes, stir in juice of 1/2 lemon, and puree soup. Return to pan, stir in 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and heat 2 minutes.
ARUGULA 5 CALORIES PER CUP
This peppery green can fill out a salad or sandwich for very little calorie cost. What it lacks in calories, arugula makes up for with plenty of bone-strengthening vitamin K. Similar to other leafy greens, arugula can also be considered an antioxidant powerhouse. Look for it alongside other tender greens such as baby spinach at the grocer.
For a quick lunch sandwich, toast a couple sandwich thins. Spread Dijon-style mustard on one toasted thin and top with sliced prosciutto, sliced apple, a handful of arugula, and the remaining bread thin.
CELERY 6 CALORIES PER STALK
It might not have been awarded the superfood status that has lead kale to be a regular fixture in the crispers of hipsters, but celery adds a lot of crunch to a calorie-controlled diet. It’s an exceptionally high-volume food, meaning you can eat bushels of it without going into calorie overload.
For an insignificant amount of calories you get healthy amounts of vitamin K, a must-have nutrient associated with lower risk of death from diseases like heart disease.2
Spoon up some tummy-filling chicken noodle soup. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, and chopped celery to pan and heat until onion has softened.
Add 4 cups chicken broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 tespoon chili flakes. Simmer until veggies are tender, then stir in sliced cooked chicken, cooked soba noodles, and fresh thyme.
BOK CHOY 9 CALORIES PER 5 LEAVES
While kale and spinach might get all the press, this Asian green is a worthy addition to a calorie-controlled diet. This member of the cruciferous vegetable family is a nutritional standout with respectable amounts of vitamin C and vitamin A, disease-thwarting antioxidants. It also has a milder flavor than many dark leafy greens to appease picky eaters.
Separate bok choy leafy tops from their stalks and roughly chop leaves. Thinly slice the stalks. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add bok choy stems, 2 chopped shallots, and 2 sliced garlic cloves; heat 3 minutes or until stems are tender.
Stir in bok choy leaves and 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest; heat just until the leaves have slightly wilted. Remove from heat, stir in 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and season with salt to taste.
RADISH 17 CALORIES PER CUP
Delivering tempered peppery heat and great texture to dishes, radishes might be stingy when it comes to calories, but they supply good amounts of vitamin C. Our bodies require adequate amounts of vitamin C to support growth and repair of bodily tissues, including your expanding muscle mass. And don’t forget the leafy green tops, which are very much edible and packed with a low-calorie nutritional windfall.
Toss 1 pound halved radishes with oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and heat in the oven at 400 degrees F for 35 minutes or until wrinkled and tender, stirring once halfway. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt, 1 teaspoon curry powder, and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Serve roasted radishes with yogurt sauce.
ZUCCHINI 31 CALORIES PER MEDIUM ZUCCHINI
When it comes to “squashing” some of the calories from your diet, be sure to steer your grocery cart toward this veggie. Do so and you’ll also take in a range of good stuff like hunger-quelling fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and manganese.
Using a serrated vegetable peeler or sharp knife, slice zucchini into long noodle-like strips and sauté for a couple of minutes in olive oil. Top cooked zucchini noodles with a tomato meat sauce for a low-carb riff on pasta night.
CUCUMBER 22 CALORIES PER 1/2 CUCUMBER
Cukes are about 95 percent water, which is why they’re one of the lowest-calorie options in the produce department. This high amount of water can even help keep you hydrated and feeling full so you’re less likely to give into cookie-jar temptation. For a little extra bit of fiber, leave your vegetable peeler in the drawer, since the peel is where much of the grit in a cucumber is found.
For a no-fuss salsa, combine chopped cucumber with diced bell pepper, cubed avocado, minced jalapeno pepper, chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, and a couple pinches salt. Serve over cooked fish.
PLUM 30 CALORIES PER PLUM
Bob Dylan famously sang, “Everybody must get stoned.” If he was referring to eating copious amounts of this low-calorie stone fruit, then good on you, Mr. Dylan! Their inherent sweetness is a great way to settle down a raging sweet tooth without any repercussions to your physique. What’s more, even the supermarket standard is packed with antioxidants.
Add 4 pitted and sliced plums, 1/2 cup port wine, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, 1 teaspoons fresh thyme, 1 teaspoons grated orange zest, 3 whole cloves, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a medium-sized saucepan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until plums soften (about 12 minutes). Serve over grilled chicken breast.
GRAPEFRUIT 37 CALORIES PER HALF GRAPEFRUIT
It’s time to pucker up if you’re searching for a fruit that keeps sugar calories in check. As with other citrus, grapefruit is a vitamin C heavyweight. University of Arizona (Tucson) researchers determined that daily intake can help lower waist circumference, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers, making it a ticker-friendly low-calorie fruit option.3
For a washboard-friendly side dish, segment a red grapefruit over a bowl and reserve any juices. Combine grapefruit segments, sliced avocado, and thinly sliced fennel. Stir together reserved juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a couple pinches salt and pepper. Toss dressing with salad and garnish with fresh mint.
STRAWBERRIES 49 CALORIES PER CUP
Now ubiquitous in supermarkets year-round, strawberries are not only light in calories and high in fat-fighting fiber, they also supply a wallop of vitamin C. Studies suggest that higher intakes of vitamin C may make breathing easier during exercise, particularly in those who suffer from exercise-induced asthma.4,5
What’s more, a 2014 Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry study found that eating plenty of the rosy fruit and the payload of antioxidants it delivers may help keep coronary woes at bay by improving blood cholesterol numbers.6
For a tasty riff on the ultra-nutritious Spanish soup known as gazpacho, blend together 1/3 cup water, 1 cup strawberries, 3 medium-sized tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, 1/2 cucumber, 2 scallions, 1/3 cup fresh mint or basil, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
HONEYDEW MELON 61 CALORIES PER CUP
The sweet, juicy flesh of the honeydew melon contains few calories, but plenty of vitamin C and heart-protective potassium. Wedges are great as a stand-alone snack, but you can also work it into smoothies, yogurt, salsas, and salads. If you have never bought this melon before, look for one that feels heavy for its size with a waxy rind. Avoid any with soft spots.
For a refreshing salad, toss baby spinach together with cubed honeydew melon, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, crumbled feta cheese, and toasted almonds.
BLACKBERRIES 62 CALORIES PER CUP
When it comes to berries, these are blackout good. Not only are blackberries light in calories, they’re brimming with fiber—a whopping 8 grams per cup to help fill you up without filling you out.
By slowing down digestion, a high-fiber diet is essential to helping you feel full, and a primary reason why roughage has been shown to contribute to shedding body fat.
Other items that contribute to blackberries’ impressive nutritional resume are antioxidants and vitamin K.
Place 2 cups blackberries, 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.
Dissolve 2 teaspoons cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water, stir into blackberry mixture, and heat 1 minute. Serve this sauce over oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, cottage cheese, or yogurt.
BULGUR 76 CALORIES PER 1/2 CUP (COOKED)
Made from whole-grain wheat that has been parboiled, dried, and then cracked, the high amount of fiber in quick-cooking bulgur can help prevent your blood sugar from going on a roller coaster that can lead to sagging energy levels and cravings for nutritional dreck.
For a calorie-controlled breakfast porridge, bring 2 cups water, 2 cups low-fat milk, 1 cup bulgur, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the bulgur is tender and the consistency of oatmeal, 10-15 minutes.
SOBA NOODLES 113 CALORIES PER CUP (COOKED)
Containing about 50 percent fewer starchy calories than whole-wheat spaghetti, this Japanese-style noodle gleaned from gluten-free buckwheat is more conducive to your six-pack pursuit. Just be sure to look for brands made with 100 percent buckwheat since it can sneak in some wheat flour, which will drive up the calories.
Cook soba noodles according to package directions (unlike normal pasta, be sure to rinse well after cooking), and then toss with cooked salmon, cooked peas, sliced carrots, and chopped scallions. Season with a dressing made with soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and a hot sauce like Sriracha.
TEFF 128 CALORIES PER 1/2 CUP (COOKED)
Ounce for ounce, this Ethiopian staple delivers fewer calories than other whole grains like brown rice and quinoa. Because of its itsy-bitsy size, the bulk of the teff grain is mostly the bran and germ, the most nutritious parts of any grain. This makes diminutive teff a nutritional giant that’s rich in a range of nutrients including fiber, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.
Teff has a malty-nutty taste, and because it expunges its starch during cooking, you can use it to make calorie-controlled puddings, riffs on polenta, or a breakfast porridge similar in consistency to Cream of Wheat.
For a physique-friendly pudding, bring 2 cups water and 1/2 cup teff to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until the water has absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Let teff cool, then puree with 1 ripe banana, 1/3 cup light coconut milk, 3 tablespoons molasses or maple syrup, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves or cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a blender or food processor. Chill for 2 hours or more before serving.
WHEAT BRAN 31 CALORIES PER 1/4 CUP
Think of flaky wheat bran as an easy way to add low-calorie nutrition to your diet. On top of a laundry list of nutrients including magnesium and B vitamins, the 6 grams of fiber in a quarter-cup serving can help you stay satisfied and slim.
To make tasty wheat-bran cakes, stir together 1/2 cup wheat bran, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Combine 1 whisked egg with 1 cup low-fat milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and drop 1/4 cup batter for each pancake into a hot skillet.
POPCORN, AIR-POPPED 31 CALORIES PER CUP
The butter-strewn offering from the multiplex is a calorie bomb, but when it comes to a low-calorie snack choice, air-popped popcorn is a definite waistline-friendly option. Since popcorn contains a lot of volume, it can fill you up on fewer calories than most snack foods.
For an Asian-inspired snack, stir together 1 teaspoon curry powder, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, and grated zest of 1 lime. Toss spice mixture with popped popcorn.
RICE CAKES, PLAIN 35 CALORIES PER CAKE
When you’re craving something crunchy, rice cakes can satisfy your need without a significant number of calories. Made from puffed brown rice, the cakes can also provide a source of whole grains and energizing carbohydrates. Avoid flavored options to steer clear of sugars and other sketchy ingredients.
For a quick snack, slather some low-fat ricotta cheese on a rice cake and top with blackberries!
SHIRATAKI NOODLES 0 CALORIES PER 3 OZ.
These translucent, gelatinous noodles are made from the powdered root of the Asian konjac yam plant. Consisting mostly of a highly soluble, indigestible fiber called glucomannan, shirataki noodles are virtually calorie-free.
They have a rather nondescript taste, but they soak up the flavors of accompanying sauces and spices beautifully. You can find shirataki noodles in liquid-filled bags at Asian markets and an increasing number of local grocery stores.
For a quick side dish, prepare shirataki noodles according to package directions, then toss with prepared pesto and halved cherry tomatoes.
SANDWICH THINS 100 CALORIES PER THIN (2 HALVES)
These flattish, slimmish rolls can save you plenty of starchy calories when making your lunch sandwiches and breakfast toast. Case in point: Two slices of regular bread can have twice as many calories. As with other bread products, look for thins that are made with 100 percent whole grains so you bite into extra hunger-fighting fiber.
Make near-instant individual pizzas by topping toasted sandwich thins with tomato sauce, cooked Canadian bacon, and shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Microwave until cheese has melted.
TURKEY BREAST DELI MEAT 72 CALORIES PER 3 OZ.
When it comes to building your lunch sandwich, pile on this sliced meat for a low-cal option. Indeed, turkey breast is one of the leanest meats at the deli counter. To sidestep added sugars, be sure to avoid the honey-roasted versions.
For a quick, six-pack-friendly snack, slice vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and cucumber into matchsticks. Spread some Dijon mustard on turkey slices, top with sliced veggies, and roll.
COD 70 CALORIES PER 3 OZ.
It may not contain a boatload of calories, but the tender white flesh of cod delivers impressive amounts of selenium. Acting as an antioxidant, increased intakes of selenium may help reduce levels of oxidative stress and muscular damage associated with stiff workouts.7 If possible, source out cod that was caught in Alaskan waters, since it’s one of the most sustainable options.
Blend 2 cups arugula, 1/2 cup parsley, 1/3 cup almonds, 1 chopped garlic clove, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a food processor or blender until well combined. Serve over pan-seared cod.
MUSSELS 73 CALORIES PER 3 OZ.
Here’s more proof that you should cast your line and reel in mussels! With 10 grams of high-quality protein in a serving, they offer an exceptional protein-to-calorie ratio. This is on top of the fact that they’re very inexpensive, considered one of the most sustainable choices among your seafood options, and deliver a dose of ultra-healthy omega-3 fats.
A European Journal of Sports Science study suggests getting your fill of omega-3 fats may help bolster exercise performance by improving blood flow, maximum oxygen uptake by working muscles.8
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet. Sauté a chopped onion and 3 minced garlic cloves until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup white wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
Add 1 pinch halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 teaspoon each red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to the skillet. Simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 4 minutes.
Add 2 pounds mussels to the skillet, cover, and steam for 8 minutes or until they open. Discard any that remain shut.
TURKEY LEGS 91 CALORIES PER 3 OZ.
Time to embrace your inner Flintstone. This flavorful and low-calorie cut of poultry supplies an impressive 16 grams of protein in a mere 3-oz. serving to keep muscle growth going in full force. Just go easy on the fatty skin, since the calorie number above applies to just the meat.
Braising turkey legs in liquid will convert the abundant amount of connective tissue to gelatin, which helps lubricate meat, making it tender and lip-smacking moist.
Heat oil in a skillet large enough for the turkey legs to fit comfortably in over medium-high heat. Season turkey with salt and pepper. Add legs to the pan and brown on both sides, about 6 minutes. Remove legs from pan and reduce heat to medium-low, adding more oil if needed. Add 1 sliced leek, 2 sliced garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon chopped ginger; cook 5 minutes, stirring often, or until leeks have softened and browned.
Add 1-1/2 cups chicken broth to pan and scrape up any brown bits from bottom of pan. Stir in 1 cup orange juice, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, 3/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Return turkey legs to pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat to reach a mild simmer, and cook covered for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until meat is very tender, flipping drumsticks every 30 minutes.
CHICKEN BREAST 92 CALORIES PER 3 OZ.
It might not be the most exciting meat that you can toss in your grocery cart, but if you’re looking for a huge amount of low-calorie, muscle-building protein, it’s hard to beat reliable boneless, skinless chicken breast.
High-protein intakes can help in the battle of the bulge in two ways: by keeping you feeling satiated, and by increasing the thermic effect of feeding, which is the amount of calories you burn by simply digesting food.
To keep chicken breast moist, try poaching it. Place breasts in a large pot and add enough water to completely cover by at least 1 inch. Bring water to a very slight simmer with just a few bubbles breaking the surface.
Do not boil! Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked through. Adjust heat as needed during cooking to maintain the slight simmer, and skim off any foam that forms.
PORK TENDERLOIN 92 CALORIES PER 3 OZ.
Pork tenderloin is a good value meat that won’t put a significant dent in your daily calorie intake. It does, however, contain laudable amounts of thiamine, a B vitamin your body uses to convert the food you eat into energy to power you through a workout. And one should not overlook the protein windfall: 18 grams in a mere 3-ounce serving.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan. Cook 1 diced onion, 1 pound of sliced pork tenderloin, and 2 minced garlic cloves for 5 minutes. Pour in 1 cup red wine and simmer 5 minutes. Add one 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, 1 cup water, 1 cup brown rice, 1 diced green bell pepper, 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon each cayenne, salt, and pepper. Simmer until rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
EYE OF ROUND STEAK 100 CALORIES PER 3 OZ.
If you’re on the hunt for an economical cut of beef that won’t break the calorie bank, look no further than eye of round. Gleaned from near the rear legs of the cattle, or the “round,” this red-meat option has a fantastic 6-to-1 protein-to-fat ratio—meaning it will help you better pack on the muscle. Marinating the meat prior to cooking can help tenderize it so it’s less likely to dry out during cooking.
In a shallow baking dish or container, whisk together 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, juice of 1 lime, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder. Add 1-1/2 pounds eye of round, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, flipping once. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
Remove steak from marinade, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, about 8-10 minutes total for medium rare. Let steak rest 10 minutes, then cut thinly across the grain. Try serving in tacos.
SILKEN TOFU 31 CALORIES PER 3 OZ.
There are a wide variety of tofu textures available. Silken tofu, which can be available as “soft,” “firm,” or “extra firm,” is a style of tofu that has not had much (if any) of its water pressed out, resulting in a custardy texture and lower-calorie brick than pressed, firm-style tofu.
While not a candidate for stir-fry, silken tofu works well in blended dishes like puddings, smoothies, dips, and salad dressings to keep calories in check and to supply a source of fairly high-quality plant-based protein.
To make a low-calorie post-training shake, try blending together 1 cup coconut water, 3 ounces silken tofu, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 tablespoon ground flax seed, 1 cup frozen mango cubes, and 1 teaspoon fresh ginger.
REFRIED BEANS 91 CALORIES PER 1/2 CUP
Made up of mashed pinto beans, this Mexican staple delivers a wallop of hunger-quelling dietary fiber along with a range of must-have nutrients including magnesium, phosphorus, and energy-boosting iron.
Just be sure to read the ingredient list on the can and be sure that no fats are added.
Stir together refried beans, chipotle chili powder, cumin powder, and fresh lime juice.
Spread on toast and top with a poached or fried egg.
CANNED KIDNEY BEANS 108 CALORIES PER 1/2 CUP
Kidney beans are a quick way to add low-calorie plant protein and fiber to your diet. The protein and fiber in inexpensive kidney beans results in a slow burn of the complex carbs found in the legume for sustained energy and satiety levels. Some companies such as Eden Organics now offer canned kidney beans that are not packed in a salty liquid.
For a hunger-squashing lunch salad, stir together a drained and rinsed can of kidney beans with chopped bell pepper, tomato, cucumber, and parsley. Toss with a lemon dressing.
LENTILS 115 CALORIES PER 1/2 CUP
Few foods deliver as much nutritional bang for your buck as lentils. Not only are they stingy when it comes to calories, lentils supply plenty of muscle-sculpting protein, core-carving fiber, and a laundry list of vitamins and minerals. And they’re budget-friendly, too!
For a veggie burger that doesn’t suck, place 1-1/4 cups dried green lentils in a medium-sized saucepan with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain lentils and set aside to cool. Add lentils to a food processor and pulse until most of the lentils are broken down but not until completely smooth.
Add 1/2 cup quick-cook oats, 4 ounces soft goat cheese, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 chopped garlic clove, and salt and black pepper to taste; pulse until well combined.
Form mixture into 6 equal-sized patties and cook in a greased skillet.
LIQUID EGG WHITES 25 CALORIES PER 3 TBSP
If you’re looking for pure, low-calorie protein, consider picking up a carton of liquid egg whites. In recipes, you can use them like regular eggs (3 tablespoons equals 1 large egg) without the need for any cracking. The protein within egg whites is especially rich in essential amino acids, making them a muscle-building superstar.
The egg whites are pasteurized, meaning that you can eat them straight from the carton, so consider using them to add a protein boost to smoothies.
Heat 1/2 cup liquid egg whites, 1 chopped zucchini, and 1 cup chopped plum tomatoes in a skillet until egg whites are set, stirring often. Season this low-cal scramble with hot sauce.
MOZZARELLA, PART-SKIM 71 CALORIES PER 1 OZ.
Eat too much calorie-laden fatty cheese and your six-pack will very likely be a few cans short. But you can still have your cheese and eat it too if you keep a chunk of low-fat mozzarella in your fridge. Compared to regular cheddar cheese, part-skim mozzarella has about 61 percent fewer calories. Try it on your sandwiches, pizzas, tacos, and scrambled eggs.
Make a caprese pasta salad by tossing together cooked whole-grain penne pasta with flaked canned albacore tuna, diced part-skim mozzarella, sliced cherry tomatoes, and chopped fresh basil. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Toss dressing with salad.
SKIM MILK 83 CALORIES PER CUP
This great white lets you take advantage of the top-notch protein in moo juice minus the fatty calories. Each glassful also contains a trio of bone builders: calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. If you don’t mind the splurge, opt for organic skim milk, which is sourced from cattle not pumped full of antibiotics.
Make no-cook oats by stirring together 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup plain or vanilla protein powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons chia seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir in 2/3 cup skim milk, and top with sliced strawberries and chopped nuts. Cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
PLAIN NONFAT YOGURT 137 CALORIES PER CUP
Fat-free yogurt is a stellar way to add quality protein and beneficial bacteria called probiotics to your daily menu without the added calories found in higher-fat or sweetened varieties. Beyond the power to bolster your immune and digestive health, probiotics might even be an ally in the battle of the bulge!
Place 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 avocado, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle or ancho chili powder, and a pinch of salt in a container and blend until smooth. Use as a sauce for tacos, sliced steak, or fish.
ALMOND MILK, UNSWEETENED 30 CALORIES PER CUP
This nutty, dairy-free alternative—which is made by grinding skinned almonds with water and filtering out the mixture—contains very little of the fat found in whole nuts, so it’s a calorie-conscious option for your cereal, post-training shakes, or weekend stack of pancakes. Look for the word “unsweetened” on the carton as your guarantee that no sugars were pumped into the faux milk.
Recharge after a workout by blending together 1 cup almond milk with 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt, a couple tablespoons powdered peanut butter, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1 cup frozen strawberries.
POWDERED PEANUT BUTTER 45 CALORIES PER TBSP
Brands such as PB2 make their powdered peanut butter by taking peanuts and pressing them to remove much of the fat. When mixed with water, the end result is a creamy spread with about half the calories of regular peanut butter. But similar to the regular spread, you still get the nutritional bonuses of protein and dietary fiber. You can even add the powder straight up to items like oatmeal and protein shakes!
Reconstitute powdered peanut butter and a dash of cinnamon according to package directions and spread between celery sticks for a snack that’ll make you feel like a kid again.
RED WINE VINEGAR 3 CALORIES PER TBSP
If you want to add a splash of flavor to dressings and sauces for essentially no calories, be sure to keep your pantry stocked with vinegars like red wine. Some research suggests that the acetic acid in vinegar can slow down digestion of a meal, which works to improve blood-glucose control and bolster satiety.9
For a tasty salad dressing, blend together equal parts olive oil and red wine vinegar with chopped shallot, chopped garlic, Dijon mustard, fresh thyme, salt, and black pepper.
THYME 3 CALORIES PER TBSP
Fresh herbs like thyme, basil, and dill are an excellent way to liven up dishes with bright flavor and very little calorie cost. These flavor boosters also contain an arsenal of antioxidants to help assure that your low-calorie eating plan is also a disease-fighting one.
Stir together 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, grated zest of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Use as a rub for chicken, steak, or pork.
CINNAMON 6 CALORIES PER 1 TSP
When it comes to oatmeal, smoothies, and pancakes, cinnamon can help you go big on flavor without the calories. A number of studies, including a recent report in Nutrition Research, have linked cinnamon with improved blood-sugar control, which not only reduces the risk of diabetes but may also aid in satiety, improved energy levels, and less risk of fat storage on your midriff.10
For a pudding with less gut-busting consequences, heat 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until just under a simmer. Remove pan from heat, add 3 ounces chopped dark chocolate and 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, and let sit for 5 minutes.
Stir until chocolate is smooth. Stir in 2 teaspoon grated orange zest, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon chili powder. Place chocolate mixture, 1 package silken tofu, and 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Chill pudding for at least 2 hours before serving.
The true chicken-of-the-sea, tilapia is a mild-tasting white fish that’s cheap to breed and easy to sell.
In fact, for the first time in 2012, farmed fish production topped that of beef, reaching a record 66 million tons, compared with beef at 63 million. But there’s a dirty secret about tilapia, the lean-meat alternative that beckons you in the supermarket–promises of weightloss a healthy heart and beautiful skin ringing in your ears. While most health experts agree we should be eating more fish (for all the reasons listed above), this Eat This, Not That! research has found the inflammatory potential of farmed tilapia to be greater than a burger, doughnuts—even pork bacon! It gets worse …
It’s the Worst Kind of Fat
Compared with other fish, farmed tilapia contains relatively small amounts of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids–the heart-healthy and essential fish oils touted by health and nutrition experts as the main reason to eat fish frequently. While a portion of salmon has over 2,000 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, a serving of tilapia has a mere 135 milligrams. Moreover, because farmed tilapia subsist on a diet of corn and soy instead of lake plants, they’re proportionally sky high in omega-6 fats, which studies have proven to harm the heart, the brain, and even your mood. The Wake Forest University study that produced the tilapia vs. bacon findings revolves around this dangerous omega 6:3 proportion.
They Have the Crappiest Diet
There’s a good chance the tilapia on your plate was raised on a poop diet (that’s poop as a noun, not an adjective). Research from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future revealed the gory details of disease-ridden fish farms in Asia, where pig and chicken feces serve as a cheaper alternative to standard fish food. While the FDA vehemently denied any of these goings-on, the Johns Hopkins investigation revealed only 2 percent of imported seafood to the United States is actually tested for contamination. It’s not just mega gross. Experts worry that the large amounts of antibiotics given to the fish to ward off infections may give rise to antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella.
They’ve Had a Sex Change
Virtually all tilapia sold in American supermarkets has undergone a sex change–the result of being fed methyltestosterone during the early, sexless stage of life. Tilapia pumped full of hormones grow bigger quicker than their natural bros, because they don’t expend energy developing reproductive organs and require less food. Seafood experts consider the effects of methyltestosterone in fish to be insignificant to our health. However, there’s research to suggest the drug can be highly toxic to the liver. In fact, methyltestosterone has been taken off the market in Germany due to its high potential for liver toxicity.
They Cause a Negative Environmental Impact
Environmentalists argue that intensive and unregulated tilapia farming is damaging ecosystems, leaving dead lakes and extinct species in poor countries with practices prohibited in the United States. In Nicaragua, for example, huge numbers of fish are bred in cages, where fish waste pollutes the lake water. Such was the case at Lake Apoyo, where pollution killed off the aquatic plants, leaving the lake a wasteland.
Eat This, Not Tilapia!
When it comes to choosing a fish that qualifies as one of the foods that will help you lose weight and one of the healthiest for your body—and the Earth—abide by the number one rule: Stay off the farm. Farmed seafood, not just tilapia, can have up to 10 times more toxins than wild fish, according to Harvard Researchers. Your best choices at the fish counter include: Wild Alaskan Salmon, Alaska Pollok, Atlantic Cod, Clams, Blue Crab, Atlantic Mackerel, Striped Bass, Sardines, Herring, Rainbow Trout and Flounder.
Originally posted www.eatthis.com
How THIN do you REALLY want to get?
If you could push a button and get all the way down to the weight you know deep down you’d REALLY like to be at, what would you weigh?
Most people “lie” to themselves when they think about how much weight they’d like to lose. They say “I’d like to lose 15 or 20 pounds.” But, when we get 60 pounds over-weight or more, 20 pounds is barely noticeable (which is one of the reasons why we tend to keep gaining weight – adding another five pounds is hard to notice).
BUT… If you’d like to finally get ALLLLLL the way down to your fittest, most confident weight, once and for all AND… If you’d like to get my personal support to make it happen, then check this out… For a limited time I’m offering a special “Finally Thin Forever” Coaching Session (a $250 value) for ZERO COST.
It is my Pay It Forward Friday.
During this powerful, one-on-one coaching session, we’ll work together to…
=> Create a crystal clear vision for the ideal life you’ll be living in your new, fit, slim, & confident body.
=> Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts and keeping you fat.
=> Leave this session renewed, inspired, and ready to finally lose all of the weight you want- once and for all.
To claim your special session today, simply email me (email@example.com) and answer these questions:
- How long have you been struggling to lose weight?
On a scale of zero to 10 how important is it for you to lose weight and keep it off once and for all?
What have you tried doing to lose weight in the past?
What happened with those approaches?
What do you see as your biggest challenge with weight loss?
Be sure to include your name, phone number and email address so I can get back to you within the next 24 to 48 hours to schedule your one-on-one call.
PS: The sooner you send me your answers, the more likely you are to get a session. I can only take so many people and I want to help those who are serious.
P.S.S: why am I doing this? I know so many people are struggling and discouraged. I wish I would’ve had someone help me years ago when I needed to lose 100lbs.
There are a few “secrets” to losing weight.
If you read my blog you know most of them. Sad thing is, y’all might read them but never use them…and big surprise, your weight may have even stayed the same, if you’re lucky.
I have been designing nutrition plans for almost 20 years. I have learned that there is one diet that is the best in the world and it works on every single person that has done it.
Ready for it ? ? ?
Now, that is just the surface part of my answer. The best diet is the one that is based on real food, nothing processed.
There are millions of diet books and you have likely tried a few of them…and the magic question…are you as fit / skinny as you want to be?
You probably tried it for a few days, maybe had some results but then felt deprived (insert crying here) and then you went back to your old ways. “I had a bad day.” “I heard some bad news.” I needed to celebrate.”
Fact: your old ways got you exactly where you are.
Solution: You need to eat real food, drink water and challenge yourself physically.
For those weight watchin-point countin’, walkin the pounds away people….time to step up your game…what might have worked a decade ago is not serving you well today, because you probably shut down some of your fat burning capacity through yo-yo dieting.
The best diet in the world is one that is normal, that doesn’t require capsules or special tinctures. You know I’m right.
You know most of your fit/skinny friends just eat real food. Those athletic friends that you love yet hate at the same time…they eat real food.
I have some math for you. It’s not like counting points though. If you take the 2 hours of tv watching a night and use 30 minutes of it to make your meals you would see and feel a difference.
If you also take 40 minutes to an hour of your 2 hour tv watching and used it to workout, I guarantee you will see and feel a difference. You still have 30 minutes left….go to bed early. There is nothing on tv that will improve your life. Getting 30 more minutes of sleep and you will feel fantastic in the morning….no more negotiating with the alarm clock!
Simple strategies people.
Stop believing the hype of the latest/greatest diets.
Old school works. Eat healthy real food, don’t drink your calories, exercise daily and get some decent sleep = fit, healthy, energetic you – sounds awesome right?!! Give it a try…I dare you!
Ahhh summer time, you’re fully here now. No more cold mornings or chilly nights. Hot temperatures, sweating kids, long days and of course we have to mention the 4th of July! Picnics, parties and parades.
All the fun and festivities can come with a negative side though. I’ve talked to a lot of people who admit they feel uncomfortable going to a summer BBQ or party and refusing the drinks that are offered because they aren’t healthy or they just don’t fit into your nutrition plan.
The thing is, you should never feel awkward or uncomfortable. Many, if not most people will actually respect you for taking care of your health and those that don’t…forget about them and remember, alcohol does nothing for your waistline!
A couple of drinks weekend after weekend can and will set you way back on any wins that you’ve had. All of those liquid calories add up and many are very sneaky and you just don’t see them coming.
If you are uncomfortable at turning down the drinks then bring your own. Every host loves when you bring something to share. Even if you are just carrying your own travel mug with your private stash of healthy in it! Be prepared. It’s that easy.
If you need alcohol to have a good time…well…that is for another blog post.
Make your health a priority.
Learn to like other things.
Don’t let weekend set backs be your focus on Monday…it’s a bad enough day as it is.
Need some happy, healthy options? Here you go.
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp stevia (or sweetener of choice)
2 cups of sparkling water or seltzer – (not tonic water)
1 cup of ice
Add all of the ingredients into a pitcher, break up & muddle the mint leaves.
Pour/serve with a wedge of lime
Tangerine cranberry slushy
½ cup of cranberry juice (I used low sugar Ocean Spray)
½ cup of tangerine juice — tangerine juice is a bit sweeter to contrast the tart cranberry juice (I used Seminole Pride Noble Juice)
1 cup of diet ginger ale (I used Canada Dry)
1 cup of ice
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Blend all together.
Pom-Tangerine Green Tea
1 cup of chilled green tea (make a pitcher)
½ cup tangerine juice
½ cup pomegranate juice
Squeeze of a wedge of lemon
Mix together. Pour into a glass of ice. Decorate with a slice of orange.
1 cup coconut milk (I use sugar free)
1 cup frozen Pineapple
Coconut extract – just a couple of drops
Blend and enjoy—garnish with a slice of pineapple.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Seminole Pride Noble Juice.
Side Note: I really like the tangerine juice, it’s a bit sweeter and is loaded with Vitamins A & C , flavonoids, folate & potassium < just some tangerine knowledge for ya>